Why was the Vietnam War lost?

Hexi Bloke

On ROPS
On ROPs
I have just started “Learning to eat soup with a knife” (JA Nagl).

The U.K. sent a mission to Vietnam to impart lessons learnt in Malaysia. From what I have read so far the US military didn’t listen.


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I can remember being on Ex Crusader, (1980), in a NATO Beer tent in Hildesheim, I think it was an Artillery camp 5 Hvy or something. Anyway, some US troops were in the tent drinking, as were we, the banter between us and the yanks was escalating and eventually a very large american came over to our 6ft table, which was sporting a nice pyramid of empty Tenants Larger cans on it, he slammed his hands flat onto our table, sending our beer can pyramid toppling and said,
"If you Brits were so damned good, how come you didn't come to Vietnam?"
To which one of our lads replied, "Well, the Vietnamese didn't need us!"...
as you can expect, it kicked off.:threaten:
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
That’s the badger...
They had some success with this programme. It wasn't as successful as the 'New Villages' part of the Briggs Plan in Malaya is alleged to be, but the contexts are very different. The ability of the US and ARVN to exert pressure on those outside of the villages was much less than in Malaya, for example, so while the strategic hamlets in Vietnam did cut the VC off from some of their support/prey they didn't have the same effect as the food denial programme in Malaya.
 
They had some success with this programme. It wasn't as successful as the 'New Villages' part of the Briggs Plan in Malaya is alleged to be, but the contexts are very different. The ability of the US and ARVN to exert pressure on those outside of the villages was much less than in Malaya, for example, so while the strategic hamlets in Vietnam did cut the VC off from some of their support/prey they didn't have the same effect as the food denial programme in Malaya.
Didn't the USMC run their own version of strategic hamlets/protected villages separate from the main effort? As I understand it they actually pioneered the concept in the various wars fought in the 20s and 30s in Central America, and we borrowed the idea for Malaya.
 
I have just started “Learning to eat soup with a knife” (JA Nagl).

The U.K. sent a mission to Vietnam to impart lessons learnt in Malaysia. From what I have read so far the US military didn’t listen.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
According to Sir Robert Thompson's autobiography BRIAM (British Advisory Mission Vietnam) were expelled from South Vietnam in 1965, ish. They were invited back in 1968/9 after Westmoreland was replaced and Nixon elected. Thompson said that by 1971 he could safely cycle round most of South Vietnam unarmed as the Viet Cong had effectively ceased to exist.
 

Nomad1382

War Hero
There were never going to be a negotiated settlement to Vietnam. Part of the negotiated settlement that saw the French leave was that there was supposed to be a nation-wide election in 1956. When Diem took over in 1955 that was scrapped (with US approval). As far as the North was concerned, all subsequent governments in the South were illegitimate. The '72 Cease fire was just to get the US out before continuing and iirc, the RVN government was cut out of the negotiations.

Kennedy was very big on the Advisory program and especially a fan of Special Forces, the mainstream Army has never been a fan of elite forces (the the various disappearance and reappearance of the Ranger units). With Kennedy dead, the generals, who cut their teeth in Korea, pushed for the widening of the commitment.

slight drift, I met a gentleman in '79 who was a retired merchant seaman. He had participated in the sea-lift of people fleeing the North following the French surrender. Had some great pictures from the time.
 

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